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Modelling \"Marriage Markets\": A Population-Scale Implementation and Parameter Test

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  • Lyndon Walker

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  • Peter Davis

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    Abstract

    Choice mechanisms and social networks, including \"marriage markets\", seem well-suited to be modelled using agent-type simulations. Few real-world empirical examples are available in the public literature, particularly those using human populations of size. We reviewed partnership models in both the micro-simulation and agent-based literatures. We then empirically implemented an algorithm derived from two established models using inter-censal data on first partnerships in New Zealand over the period 1981-2006. The purpose of the exercise was to test the robustness of different parameter settings and to determine whether a model simulating partnership selection among eligible never-married young adults at one census period is feasible for predicting patterns of partnership, co-habitation and marriage at the next. Varying simulation time and social network size parameters of the model showed that patterns of ethnic partnering could be consistently produced and were not dependent on these model settings. Examining the different scoring methods showed that age similarity, education similarity, and previous partnering patterns could produce partnership patterns similar to those seen in the census. The simulation produced patterns of ethnic partnering similar to those seen in the census and seemed robust to different parameter settings. To further improve these results, an optimised combination of the scoring components is proposed. The simulations also provided preliminary evidence of ethnic preferences in the New Zealand marriage market.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation in its journal Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 6

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    Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2012-2-3

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    Related research

    Keywords: Marriage; Ethnicity; Homophily; Simulation;

    References

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    1. Cathal O’Donoghue & John Lennon & Stephen Hynes, 2009. "The Life-Cycle Income Analysis Model (LIAM): A Study of a Flexible Dynamic Microsimulation Modelling Computing Framework," CeRP Working Papers 85, Center for Research on Pensions and Welfare Policies, Turin (Italy).
    2. Chantarat, Sommarat & Barrett, Christopher B., 2007. "Social Network Capital, Economic Mobility and Poverty Traps," MPRA Paper 1947, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Thomas Hills & Peter Todd, 2008. "Population Heterogeneity and Individual Differences in an Assortative Agent-Based Marriage and Divorce Model (MADAM) Using Search with Relaxing Expectations," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(4), pages 5.
    4. Francesco Billari & Belinda Aparicio Diaz & Thomas Fent & Alexia Prskawetz, 2007. "The "Wedding-Ring"," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(3), pages 59-82, August.
    5. Ayse Mumcu & Ismail Saglam, 2008. "Marriage Formation/Dissolution and Marital Distribution in a Two-Period Economic Model of Matching with Cooperative Bargaining," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 11(4), pages 3.
    6. Peter Todd & Francesco Billari & Jorge Simão, 2005. "Aggregate age-at-marriage patterns from individual mate-search heuristics," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 559-574, August.
    7. Ismail Saglam, 2013. "Divorce Costs and Marital Dissolution in a One-to-One Matching Framework With Nontransferable Utilities," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 106-124, March.
    8. Nigel Gilbert & Andreas Pyka & Petra Ahrweiler, 2001. "Innovation Networks - a Simulation Approach," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 4(3), pages 8.
    9. Neal Bouffard & Richard Easther & Tom Johnson & Richard J. Morrison & Jan Vink, 2001. "Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 4(2), December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Thomas Fent & Belinda Aparicio Diaz & Alexia Prskawetz, 2010. "Family Policies in the Context of Low Fertility and Social Structure," Working Papers 1102, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.

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